The Past Week(s): December 14-27, Recaps and Random Thoughts (“Heart” Series; Betty Currie Returns; “Money as Debt”; FDA Caves to Pressure, Antibiotics Back IN Food Animals as of 11/30)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

We’ve been busy over the last week with our “Heart” series (and there will be two pieces in the same vein over the New Year holiday) but here are a couple of items that have caught our eye recently.

***

In case you missed this: From the “you must be kidding department”:

Remember Betty Currie? Personal secretary to Bill Clinton who testified 5 times before a grand jury during the Lewinsky scandal?  With a lot of the Obama team former Clinton Administration officials, I guess this should be no surprise at this point.

Obama Team Has Forged Another Link With Clintons

Answering the phones these days for the co-chairman of President-elect Barack Obama’s transition, John D. Podesta, is none other than Betty Currie.

Emerging from retirement in southern Maryland to volunteer at Obama headquarters, Ms. Currie was the personal secretary to President Bill Clinton, who became caught up in an independent counsel investigation into his trysts with the White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Since leaving the White House, Ms. Currie, 69, has shied from publicity and kept a low profile in Hollywood, Md., where she lives with her husband, Bob, and Socks, the presidential cat, which she took with her after Mr. Clinton left office.

Ms. Currie, who works with local nonprofit organizations and serves on the Alcohol Beverage Board of St. Mary’s County, declined to discuss her work for Mr. Obama or her recent life, citing a transition office policy against volunteers giving interviews.

Compelled to testify to a grand jury five times about Mr. Clinton’s relationship with Ms. Lewinsky, Ms. Currie is widely admired in Clinton circles for her loyalty and effectiveness.

Mr. Podesta, who was Mr. Clinton’s last White House chief of staff, said it was natural for him to call Ms. Currie back to service.

“Of course I asked her because in the 30 years we have worked together, I have never known anyone with more grace, dedication and public spirit than Betty,” he said. “And she has one mean Rolodex.”

Yup, that Rolodex must be something to see…along with all that grace, dedication and public spirit!  Wonder if Socks has any insights to offer about what’s going on in that transition team?

***

So, with the huge spending being planned by Team Obama, my mother is talking about the Depression a lot more.  Then there’s the concern over to whether to buy gold and silver or to get a Swiss bank account (Swiss francs reputedly offer a  stable hedge against the loss of the dollar’s value).

A Canadian visitor named Manuela suggested this animated video which explains what money is and how it is created in response to our discussion of  The History Channel’s recent program on “The Crash” (which was not the greatest).  (See “The Past Week: December 7-13” below.) It’s the sort of thing that anyone who doesn’t have a clue about the current financial crisis should see…

The film is by Paul Grignon and is called “Money as Debt” and you can see it here.

***

If you eat animal products, you might want to know this. Two days before Thanksgiving, the FDA REVERSED the ban on the use of antibiotics in food-producing animals, including chickens, cattle, and pigs, effective November 30th.  As reported by the the non-profit American Association for Health Freedom:

FDA Reverses Its Order on Antibiotics in Animals

…In December 2007, a coalition of consumer, environmental, science, and humane groups known as Keep Antibiotics Working wrote to the FDA commissioner, Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, urging further FDA action. Their letter presented evidence that the widespread use of antibiotics in livestock contributed to the MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) epidemic in Europe, and showed that the effectiveness of antibiotics against deadly bacteria was questionable at best. They cited data that a new strain of MRSA bacteria in pigs was linked to 20% of all human MRSA infections in the Netherlands and Canada, though there are insufficient studies to make that link in the U.S., where MRSA cases have recently surged. The coalition also estimated that 70% of all antibiotics used in the U.S. are used as feed additives in chicken, pigs, and cattle.

This past summer the FDA instituted an order banning the off-label use of drugs in food-producing animals, while noting that the same family of drugs was important to treat disease in humans. This fall, the FDA echoed again the same sentiment, taking note of the increasing evidence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in cattle. But the FDA’s action met with harsh industry criticism. Pfizer argued that the drugs were essential for preventing disease in animals. Other groups, including the Animal Population Health Institute, the KS Health Department, the National Turkey Federation, and the American Veterinary Medical Association, also criticized the FDA’s ban, which was to go into effect on November 30.

So despite the mounting concern over antibiotic resistance—which is known to endanger human life—on November 25 the FDA revoked their earlier order, to the profound dismay of the Keep Antibiotics Working coalition and researchers like Dr. Stuart Levy at Tufts University, who leads the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics. Dr. Levy has collected a considerable body of evidence to educate his colleagues and consumers about the dangers of the overuse and abuse of antibiotics both in humans and in animal use.

The AAHF is working with other groups to see reform of the FDA and has a petition up at ReformFDA.org.

Now, with Tom Daschle heading Health and Human Services, which encompasses the FDA, should we expect a reversal of this decision? From Daschle (and wife) who have had some ties through their lobbying activities that might point to other interests? See here for details.

***

THE PAST WEEK

*By Grail Guardian

**Contribution by Chicago Correspondent Leslie

***By American Lassie

After “Aunt Benazir’s” Assassination, Fatima Bhutto Still Fighting to Reveal the Truth

6. The Heart of the Season: Celebrating the Season with Light…New Mexico Luminarias

*5. The Heart of the Season: Hats for Grail Mama and Friends Beyond Family

4. The Heart of the Season: A Dog’s Purpose and Justice for Karley and All Who Deserve It

3. The Heart of the Season: Weeping for the “Unnatural History” of Chimpanzees (Updated 2X)

2. The Heart of the Season: Birds of the Solstice and Signs (A Double Post by kenosha Marge and InsightAnalytical-GRL)

Katie in the Christmas Tree by kenosha Marge

Winter Solstice, 1992: The Final Flight of a Soul by InsightAnalytical-GRL

1. The Heart of the Season: Wise Words from a Young Old Soul

Taking Our Power, Taking Our Lives: Women Under Threat (Updated 1X)

**Chicago Style Update…

Of Robots and Women and Our Current Life in the Village of Stepford (Antidote on the Way?)(A Double Post by kenosha Marge and InsightAnalytical-GRL)

Women, You’re About To Be Replaced By…a ROBOT! by InsightAnalytical-GRL

Women Will Never Be Equal by kenosha Marge

***On Reflection: These Are The Times That Try Men’s (and Women’s) Souls

W.A.M. Asks — Who Needs Christmas When You Can Worship “THE ONE”?

The Past Week: December 7-13, Recaps and Random Thoughts (Blago in the Can and ON the Can; Obama License Plates in IL?; Reality-Based Black Commentary; Canada & the Auto Bailout; Live Blog of The History Channel on “Crash: The Next Great Depression?”– No Surprise, A Waste of Time; Ignored Science) (Updated 1X)

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9 Responses

  1. What gives with obama bringing all the Clinton people to the White House? Bet Hillary knew for months what her job was going to be. Just insane.

  2. Strange. Item 1 is about hiding the secrets and money. Item 2 is about Show me the Money! All within the same administration…

  3. I’ll start believing in the FDA working to protect American Consumers instead of Corporations when I am back to believing that Santa is gonna come down my chimmey and leave me gifts.

    Doubtful that Tom Daschel will be intrested in protecting consumers. He’s shown little other than lip servie to date.

    But I guess we can “hope” he’ll surprise us. I guess “hope” now is the plan.

  4. Let’s put it this way….after all the nasty gestures and the accusations of racism, the Clintons were quite content to play the game instead of calling this sucker out. Which means they reverted to what they were all along…power players, sellouts, whatever you want to call them. I wasn’t for Hillary in the beginning for precisely what has transpired. The reality was we had no real candidate to get behind. The understanding of this separates the real PUMAs from the rank and file, no matter what they call themselves now….

  5. I guess if you know that the nation is going to be taken over it might seem to some that it’s better to be part of the Coup than part of the Resistance.

    The rest of us know better. It’s always better to die fighting than to surrender. That’s the trait that many of us projected onto Hillary Clinton (possibly because that’s what she told us?). It appears that we were just as wrong as the Obots. I’ll know for sure by January 20th.

  6. From IA @riverdaughter:

    “Wonder how he likes having antibiotics back in his food? Does he believe Daschle will change it??? “Pressure” got the rule changed back…”

    Are you talking about Frank Rich, or someone else? This “change” from the FDA only supports the assumption that there is nothing in government NOT in the pocket of big business. Whether Agri-Business or otherwise, money is the end and whatever it takes is the means.

    I can’t even trust the gov’t “organic” labels on my foods. (Actually, when I learned that the gov’t was regulating what organic meant in order to label it as such, I stopped trusting said label.)
    It just seems impossible to be a person of limited means, and be healthy. Even the monthly fees at the local YMCA are costing an arm and a leg. So trying to eat healthy, or to work out, OR to even limit my time at work in order to have less stress seems closer and closer to impossible.

    Happy New Year…same as the old, I guess.

  7. I’m talking about Frank Rich…. the one who now sees the first “faint tinge” of George Bush….

    I’m just wondering if Rich thinks Daschle will be changing the antibiotic rule….SNARK!

  8. Tom Daschle and Tom Vilsack will make a great pair. Vilsack, chosen by BigO as the new Secretary of Agriculture, is a strong bio-tech proponent 
    supporting genetically engineered crops, cloned animals, etc. He’s a shill for biotec giant Monsanto. He’s fought to limit states’ rights to regulate seed, GE crops, pharma crops and other proactive measures.

    A petition to oppose Vilsack’s confirmation has been drafted by the Organic Consumer Association, and if anyone is inclined to sign it (not that it’ll do any good), here’s the link: http://tinyurl.com/5y6ghz

  9. Hi All,

    If you haven’t taken the time to watch “Money as Debt”, by all means do so. It is a little long, but I have watched it three times already and will watch it again tonight if I can. This is a most informative piece and will be even more enlightening as the next bail-outs and bank acquisitions take place.

    It’s a little much to absorb in one viewing, unless you are interested in finance, but mark my words you will come back to this video more than once in the near future as the real truth of this money scam begins to leak out. The insidious deed by Henry Paulson (with the help of George W. Bush) , will leave a trail that will stink to high hades. And keep your eye on Neel Kashkari, Paulson’s top dog. He has dirty hands also.

    And Grail, as we go into the New Year , I agree that although some think becoming part of the Coup is better than being in the Resistance, we here at IA know that we would not be able to live with ourselves if we sold out. Being on what they call the “winning team” is not worth it if it means going against your core beliefs.

    Insight Analytical has given us a home where we can visit with like souls, and that is the best thing that has come out of “Election Cycle 2008”. (IMHO)

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